Thursday, August 15, 2013

MTC Letter 08/15/2013

Kamusta ka Pamilya!
Salamat para sa imong gugma ug kahupay!
It has been a solid week, And that goes for all aspects. So yes my digestive system is getting back in order. My grammar is still pretty terrible but I can say for the most part what i want to say in our lessons sa Cebuano. I do speak Cebuano in my sleep. In fact, I yell Cebuano in my sleep, usually it's just words and not full phrases. But it's subconscious none-the-less. So we did hear from an apostle but I'm going to take this in chronological order. Usually when I email I just sit at the computer with my journal and take it a page at a time.

On Thursday nights when p-day is over we have what is called the Teaching Resource Center (TRC). This is where people (usually returned missionaries) come and volunteer to be taught and so we teach them sa Cebuano as them (as opposed to them acting as an investigator that they had on their mission because we do that too, but not in TRC). You wouldn't thing a bunch of greeny missionaries would be able to teach anything to a returned missionary in a language they barely even know but I was surprised at the amazing spirit that is present when we teach. So we taught one of our teachers, our topic was Ang padayag pinaagi sa pag-ampo. (revelation through prayer). While we were teaching he asked if we could pause for a sec while he wrote down a revelation he had just had. It was such a rewarding experience to see the spirit at work. Later on we had a discussion about our purpose, identity and potential as missionaries. We are imperfect people but we can have perfect desires. And because God sees as we can become His answers to our prayers are perfect even if they don't seem perfect at the time.
During class on Friday we were doing demo teaching. This is where the teacher and a volunteer sister or elder do a teaching scenario and we talk about it as it progresses. While we were doing this I had a cool revelation. I was thinking that It's hard to know exactly how investigators feel as they search for truth. The thought occurred to me that I've always had the truth having been raised in the Gospel. But then I realized that perhaps that was an ignorant thought to have. Even as members, it is still a constant search for truth in our journey towards conversion. We may know where to find the truth, but it still has to be found. It's still up to us to search for it. To find it. So in that sense, we should know exactly how it feels, for we are all investigators on the road to personal conversion in this adventure called life.
So we have devotionals on Sunday nights in 19 M and it's broadcast to west campus and then on Tuesday nights we all go to the Marriott Center. On Sunday we heard from Brother Heaton. He's on of the top dogs at the MTC. His talk was about the purpose of the purpose. It's easy to get distracted with important things and discard the most important things. The Purpose of our purpose as missionaries is to help others reconcile themselves to God. If we baptize people and they understand that it's in vain. We want people to be baptized of course, but there's more to it than that. I don't do it must justice explaining it but it was a really good talk. It was Very practical and applicable to the next two years.
Alright now then, On Tuesday evening we had the opportunity to hear from Elder Richard G. Scott. He is so soft spoken but everything he says is so powerful. He is so humble and you can just tell that he has an extraordinary relationship with God. He talked to us about prayer and how we can make our prayers more meaningful! It was amazing. General conference is good and all but when an apostle comes and speaks to a specific group it's something special. I have heard many amazing talks from him but this one was my favorite. I learned so much about making my prayers more meaningful. When you pray you must pray in faith and faith means action. As we act and use our agency, God will let us know whether the path we have chosen is right or wrong. Sometimes when we don't receive answers it's because God trusts us enough to make the right decision on our own. He was a bit emotional and near the end of his talk he explained why. He began to talk about his late wife and he said that he had the strongest feeling that she was permitted to be there in the Marriott center at that devotional. It was really cool to hear him say that. The spirit hit the audience like an ocean wave. Afterwards the branch president was telling us that he has heard Elder Scott speak about six times during his time as a Branch Pres. and that he always talks about his wife but never has he made note of her presence. We only fill one third of the stadium but I'm pretty sure the other two thirds were filled with Heavenly Hosts. At the Beginning and end of his talk he blessed us who were learning a new language with Apostolic Authority. The spirit of his words was indescribable. I am so grateful we got to hear from him. I will use the notes from his talk for the rest of my life. I would have shared more but I left my notebook in my room.
I have been cruising through the Book of Mormon like crazy and this past week I started Alma. I read about Amulek's encounter with Zeezrom. What a powerful story. As we live righteously, we have that very same spirit with us that through Amulek caused Zeezrom to tremble. As I read about Zeezrom, I pictured him as someone who has a face that you just want to punch. And He needed to be punched in the face. And he did get punched in the face by the spirit. That is one of my favorite stories. We should all look up to the examples of Alma and Amulek and remember that there will be people who try to stump us but we have the spirit of the Lord with us to help us bring people like Zeezrom unto Christ.
Sometimes in class our teachers will just talk about mission life and about life in the Philippines. These are some of my favorite discussions. Yesterday (wednesday) someone shared a quote from his mission president. 
"Diligence without a Goal is Slavery,
A Goal without Diligence is a Daydream,
but Diligence with a Goal is Success." --President Shmutz

Well I am out of time. I will try to get some handwritten letters to y'all this week but no promises. Thanks again for all the love and support. I love hearing from you and hearing about all the adventures at home. Keep the Faith and may peace be the journey.
Elder Ethan Lowe

A note from JaNae- My brother Elder Mason Reid and Elder Lowe ran into each other at devotional a week or two ago and Mason sent us a picture. So, here's a picture of Ethan. I haven't received any other pictures but when I do I'll post them :) 

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